Wednesday, December 26, 2012

NuTrendMedia appears to be blog spamming for Computer Repairs In Melbourne site.

Blog spamming is a technique businesses should avoid using to promote their business. Today I had the following comment left on my blog by Nutrendmedia.

"If your computer is malfunctioning, you need to take care in having it repaired.

computer repairs melbourne"

The line "computer repairs melbourne" was a link to a site set up by NuTrendMedia. Checking the logs showed NuTrendMedia are using a service in the Philippines to write blog spam into others' blogs to promote their site.

The problem with this approach is if you are a legitimate business using suspect promotional techniques, it reflects on you and your ethics.

Every week I see a number of Australian companies paying good money and damaging their business reputation by using web  companies who are using suspect promotional techniques. In business it takes a considerable amount of time and effort to build up trust. A single poor decision such as using a blog spammer to promote your business could undo years of hard work. Don't take the chance.

When using a web designer or SEO company make sure you understand exactly how they are going to promote your business and make sure they don't resort to blog spamming or other undesirable techniques a reasonable business person would consider unethical. In the end it is your business reputation you stand to lose.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Red Energy increases prices January 2013

It is that time of the year again when the electricity industry hikes up their prices. Each time I update the Energy Cost Calculator. I noticed when I first wrote the calculator the default price I used was 17.4 cents per kilowatt hour. We're now up to 25.74 cents per kilowatt hour.

The other interesting observation is the charge to the property continues to go up as well. The latest price is 102.30 cents per day. We can't control the price to the property which is where the retailers get us. Eventually however the retailers and distributors will price themselves out of the market and like Telstra did. Raising the monthly price of service which is a cost you can't avoid means real alternatives may start becoming viable. At 102.30 cents per day that is $377.34 a year. Over ten years that's a staggering $3,773.40. It starts to make some form of capital device look attractive.

For the moment however all we can do is reduce our usage and look for ways to reduce costs. Look at and measure your energy usage for existing equipment you have around the home. A power meter as shown on the Energy Cost Calculator page can be purchased for under $30 and will pay for itself many times over. We use a small freezer to hold food for Christmas but once Christmas is over it is turned off. It costs around $95 a year to run. Alternately if you can freeze food and it saves money, then factor in the power usage into the costs.

The Energy Cost Calculator has been provided to help others to determine the cost of running their appliances, plus, it also provides the ability to determine the time a new appliance with a lower energy rating will pay for itself in terms of electricity usage alone. If someone said you could have a new TV for half price you'd probably jump at the opportunity. If you pick the right size low energy TV the purchase can save you money on your electricity bill. However choose a large screen TVto replace your ageing 26" TV and chances are you'll increase your electricity bill. Click here for the Energy Cost Calculator.

I've also noticed some low energy LEDs at last becoming cost effective. I hope to check those out early in the near year.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Regards,

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Red Dog played by Koko has passed away.

Charlie Brincat of Herding Dog Training (www.herdingdogtraining.com) has passed on that Koko, the dog which played Red Dog in the movie of the same name has passed away. Thank you Charlie.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Alert: Receipt for Your Payment to AU-AdCommerce-EOM@ebay.com.au - PayPal.

I received a fake email pretending to be a receipt from PayPal for an eBay purchase. You should delete these emails. The email contains a link a site other than PayPal and is most likely a malicious site.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.  

Alert: Vodafone - Thanks - Your payment has been received.

I received a number of emails pretending to be from Vodafone. These emails have an attachment with a filename along the lines of “Payment Details 17717323.zip”. The attachment contains malware.

You should delete these emails. Most antivirus software packages do not pick up the latest malware. The only thing stopping you from infecting your computer is you.

Treat all unsolicited emails with caution. The MyAnswers solution 2293 documents the approach I use to check email attachments.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Debt Collector Melbourne - Don't wait until an unpaid amount becomes a bad debt. Get assistance sooner and you may end up avoiding the debt collector stage.

As a business owner have you found yourself in the position where a person for no reason decides to delay payment? The problem is you did the work for them, they dealt with you and they haven't paid you so it is a waiting game.

Sooner or later you'll probably go away and they end up not paying.

Surprisingly, a way to reduce the unpaid amounts is to get a person to act as your accounts receivable person. A call from a different person often has the effect of recovering unpaid amounts. People are more inclined to believe you are serious when they receive a call from someone who is more skilled in getting payment for you. You won't get paid every time, but you should get paid more often and you won't have the stress of dealing with people you'd rather not call.

If you run your own business and would appreciate assistance in chasing up money owed to you, give Kim Raddock a call at Credit Matters on 03 9802 0608. You can also find Credit Matters on the Glen Waverley postcode page www.JustLocal.com.au/3150.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Saturday, December 15, 2012

MyAnswers: Determine how much electricity a television, refridgerator, freezer costs to run

The following MyAnswers solution 2295 is now available:
How to determine how electricity a television, refridgerator, freezer or other applicance uses based on the Energy Rating sticker on the applicance and thus how much it costs to run.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
MyAnswers
(An Online Connections service.)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Me and My Dog Photo - an idea perhaps for an unusual Christmas gift

Charlie Brincat’s site Me and My Dog Photo is now live and provides a slideshow of Charlie’s photographic work taking photos of dogs and their owners. If you’re thinking of a present for someone who owns a dog but can’t think of anything, then why not give them a gift of a photo session with Charlie so they’ll have a photo to treasure of themselves and their best friend.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Block All Stars are Dani and Dan, Mark and Duncan, Josh and Jenna, Amity and Phil

The Block All Stars cast has been announced and include: Dani and Dan, Mark and Duncan, Josh and Jenna, Amity and Phil.

If you’re not the renovating type but looking to renovate your bathroom or kitchen you may wish to check out Master Renovators.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Alert: Ticketek Purchase

Just received a faked email pretending to be from Ticketek with the subject “Ticketek Purchase”. There is an attached file “Ticketek-Purchase-2453030830.zip” which contains malware. You should delete these emails.

Note: Windows 8 built-in antivirus does not detect many new malware programs but then again neither do most of the other programs people would generally use. Your only defence is caution.

A quirk in Outlook means if you do save this file (and many similar files I’ve reviewed) you aren’t able to open the file which inadvertently protects you. If you use web mail and download the attached file you can open the file. This is not a recommendation for Outlook, just an observation.

You should delete any suspicious emails immediately and treat all attachments with care. In MyAnswers solution 2293 I share the approach and site I use to check attachments for malware.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Assisting residents and businesses in Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

 

Alert: iPhone 5 dream pack only 29.95 !

I’ve received multiple emails to different email accounts with the subject “iPhone 5 dream pack only 29.95 !” supposedly from Ready Steady Shop.

These emails are unsolicited spam sent to email addresses obtained from the internet. They may also be a scam.

Australian businesses know spamming is illegal and I would highly recommend if you receive spam from an Australian business that no matter how good the offer you should delete the emails.

If you receive spam you can forward the spam to report@submit.spam.acma.gov.au. Don’t change the subject or add anything else to the email.

It would be very easy to eliminate spam in Australia if the will was there. Once spam was verified to be of significant volume the domain could be redirected to ensure just as a car is impounded if people are breaking the law. Luckily in Australia most people respect the law. It is better to support ethical businesses because they are more likely to support you.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Supporting residents and businesses in Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Alert: Free shipping for Christmas from Hartmann Appliances

I’ve received a number of emails to different email addresses (scraped from the internet) with the subject “Free shipping for Christmas from Hartmann Appliances”. It is hard to tell if this is a scam or simply a massive spam marketing exercise. The site has no contact details other than an email address.

I’d highly recommend if you receive emails from spammers that you simply delete the emails. If businesses spam people which every business in Australia knows is against the law it cast doubt as to how ethical the business is. It is better to deal with a more ethical business.

These email are very suspicious.
 
You can report spam by forwarding spam emails to report@submit.spam.acma.gov.au. Don’t change the subject line or add anything to the email.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Assisting residents and businesses in Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Free 2013 The Weekly Times Dogs Calendar with pictures by Zoe Phillips

For those who love their four-legged friend, Charlie Brincat (www.HerdingDogTraining.com) has passed on tomorrow’s edition of The Weekly Times will include their free 2013 Dogs Calendar with pictures by Zoe Phillips.

Thanks Charlie.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Monday, December 10, 2012

6 - 12 Tasman Street, Bondi 2026 NSW - Location for The Block 2013 series

With The Block All Stars being promoted on TV I thought I’d check out where the next series of The Block will be. From what I can tell there will be two series in 2013. The All Stars and the regular series. It appears the regular series will be located at 6 - 12 Tasman St, Bondi in NSW.

A search of the internet shows Ray White was leasing 6 Tasman Street, Tamarama which has the same postcode as Bondi. You can see some pictures of what the property looked like here.
 
If you’re not the renovating type but looking to renovate your bathroom or kitchen you may wish to check out Master Renovators.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Low cost advertising for small and home based businesses.
You found this page so think about how JustLocal can assist your business.
Money back guarantee so you can’t lose.

Alert: Seat Selection Fee Receipt - Qantas Customer Services

I’ve received a number of malware emails today. Notably targeted at Jetstar (which I’ve documented previously) and also Qantas. The subject of the email is “Seat Selection Fee Receipt”.

Attached to the email is a zip file which contains malware. The malware file is designed to appear as a PDF but is actually an executable file. The attached zip file is named Qantas Personal Information ref 127434.zip where the number would most likely be randomly generated.

This malware is not currently detected by the majority of antivirus software.

If you receive this type of email you should delete it.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you required computer support.
Assisting businesses and residents in Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Alert: Mildura located in National Park according to Apple iOS6 mapping application.

I've noticed apple maps has tried to send me via a road which if I did, would be an illegal turn and another time, through a section of road which has been blocked off for decades to my knowledge, but Mildura in the middle of a National Park has warranted a warning by police.



Red pin is the location where Apple maps will lead drivers, where's the purple pin in the top right is where Mildura actually is, which is approximately 70km away.

Victorian police are concerned people using iOS6 map app could end up in a remote location on dirt roads and without water. As a result police has advised not to use Apple's mapping application.

My own experience was the Google map app on earlier versions of iOS had flaws so I would not rely solely on Apple's mapping applications.

Make sure you prepare appropriately and have appropriate travel aids as required. Sometimes low tech options such as printed maps make a good option.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Alert: Your credit card information has been changed! (PayPal)

I received a couple of emails today with the subject “Your credit card information has been changed!”. These are fake emails aimed at tricking users into thinking a charge has been made against their PayPal account. There is a link to enable to user to cancel the transaction but this link will send the user off into what I suspect is a malicious site.

You should delete these emails.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.
No call-out fee or fixed minimum charge.

 

Alerts: Mastercard PayPass or Visa payWave cards make credit card fraud easier.

POLICE have warned "tap and go" contactless payment technology has given credit card thieves a new opportunity to steal other people's money.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Alert: 21 of December 2012- is the end of the Darkness!

I just received multiple emails to different email addresses with the subject "21 of December 2012- is the end of the Darkness!"

I'd suggest deleting this type of unsolicited email.

Be very careful with Christmas approaching. This time of the year is reportedly a time of increased scams and malicious emails.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Find Santa game - locations now available

The internet now makes it much easier to play games like Woolworths Find Sandta (yes Sandta not Santa) game. It is fun to play but if you just want to enter the competition you can find the location of Sandta each day at http://onlineconnectionsnews.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/find-sandta-to-win-prize-everyday.html.

Happy searching.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Alert: Deals Extra (Enjoyment Fresh Pty Ltd) blog spamming to promote their site

Blog spamming is where others visit your site and add comments for the only purpose of adding a link to promote their own site. Today I had blog spam by Deals Extra to two of my blogs which contained the following comment.

“Your blogs and information attracts me to come back again n again.

cudo”

The link to their site removed.

If you have a blog you can often identify the blog spam because it is a generic comment and not specific to the post. Often it is a poorly worded compliment.

I recommend that business should not blog spam to promote their business on the internet. I’d also suggest that people do not use or support such businesses who use such practices and support businesses that use more acceptable businesses practices to promote their business.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au  

Alert: We Need Crusaders. How Fatima Started Islam. Amazon

I’ve received multiple emails promoting the book “How Fatima Started Islam”.  This is spam. Unfortunately Amazon doesn’t appear to care about spam. If an author is spamming to get sales then Amazon should take action. It is always possible it could be faked spam but more likely it is author initiated using an email marketing service. Often the author may not know the business they are using to market their book is using spammers to promote their book. I’ve seen this happen to Australian businesses where their web site developer uses low cost overseas countries to outsource promotional services.

Amazon should have a mechanism where spam can be reported. If they do have such a service I certainly couldn’t find it. There was information on spoofed email but nothing with product spam. Perhaps someone else knows how to report Amazon promotional spam.

This type of spam hurts all authors promoting their books on Amazon. Amazon may ignore the existence of such spam as a purchase is a purchase at the end of the day. But legitimate authors may suffer if spammers put people off using Amazon services. It certainly puts me off when they could so easily take action but don’t appear to be interested.

I’d highly encourage people to delete all spam emails promoting products and services from Amazon. If everyone deletes the emails the spam will stop. Given the volume of spam it only takes a few sales to make it worthwhile for spammers to continue.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require computer support.

Assisting businesses and residents in Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and surrounding suburbs.

Alert: Woolworths Customer Satisfaction Survey, win $50

I just received a fake email with the subject “Customer Satisfaction Survey” pretending to be from Woolworths

The body of the text was the following which also included a link which appears to go to the Woolworths site but actually goes to a site registered in :

“You have been selected by Woolworths -- Supermarkets to access the Customer Satisfaction Survey and win $50.00 credit to your card. Please follow the link below and complete the form in order to receive your reward”

My concern is with the “Find Sandta” competition now running it is easy for people to think the competition and the $50 credit are related. I’ve found people being tricked in the past. For example one person just sent a parcel by UPS, when they returned to the office they had received an email from UPS. It was a coincidence and the fake email tricked him into infecting his computer. The person was an ex IT person so they were very aware and skilled in IT.

Treat all emails with suspicion and care. Your best defence against malware infection isn’t antivirus software (although that is recommended), it is you. Only you can stop the latest infections.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Assisting residents and businesses in Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Internet Explorer 10 - The preferred Australian English spelling now available

I’m pretty excited to announce I’m now making available the preferred Australian English spelling file for Internet Explorer 10 running on Windows 8.

Internet Explorer 10 has Australian English spellchecking built in, but like Microsoft’s Office products, the spellchecker accepts thousands of secondary spelling variations such as words with “ize”, American spelt words such as “mom” and some errors. The preferred Australian English spelling file corrects these issues.

If written communication matters to you the preferred Australian English spelling file is a must have. If you’re a student, applying for jobs, or write reports or sales material, the preferred Australian English spelling file is a must have.

You can find the preferred Australian English spelling file for Internet Explorer 10 at www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
The creator of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.